Friday, August 05, 2005

My New Most Embarassing Moment

I attended a seminar earlier today. At first, I was hesitant to go as I was going alone but since the topics to be discussed were relevant to my work, I dragged my biik belly off the bed at 7 am to go to Dusit Hotel. I left the house at around 7:45 and was quite surprised when I reached Dusit at 8:30. (It usually takes me an hour and fifteen minutes to get to Makati.)

Since the seminar was at 9, and there were just 3 of us at the ballroom, I decided to have breakfast at the coffee shop. Since I didn't have the time, I decided to order a la carte instead of having the buffet. I ordered fluffy pancakes (I still don't understand how their chef defines "fluffy",) which was served with bacon (really awful, it was tough and it tasted like burnt slippers, not that I actually experienced having burned my slippers, much more tasting them) 2 slices of pineapple (that gave me the datung puti look) and 2 slices of melon (finally, something that can be classified as food!)

I passed by the comfort room to wash my hands, but to my horror, instead of water, the faucet gave me a sound similar to the rumblings of my biik belly when it is hungry.

Since I had some work to do, I sat at the corner of the room which was farthest from the podium. However, once the speakers started their lectures, I got so engrossed that I only got to work during the breaks. The male speakers were pretty good! The first one, who discussed the INCOTERMS 2000, was a movie-star looking french lawyer who so clearly discussed what could have been a confusing jumble of 3-letter initials (FAS, FOB, CFR, CIF, FOB, et cetera, et cetera). He spoke so slowly but since he explained the concepts so clearly, I was mesmerised (the way I get mesmerised to Christmas lights. He now probably thinks that I've got a crush on him.) The second speaker was a small, bald Irish banker, who talked fast and used his own pictures to illustrate how documents of credit worked. He was so hilariously funny that I found myself listening to his lecture on the ISBP for the Examination of Documents, which in actuality, is a sleeping pill disguised as a document.

The third speaker, a lady who holds a high position at the ICC International Court of Arbitration was obviously intelligent but was also utterly lacking in teaching skills. All throughout her lecture, I couldn't help but think that I could have given a better lecture on the advantages of arbitration over court litigation and how the ICC worked. She also made me focus my attentions on Dusit's version of a blueberry cheesecake which was better seen than eaten.

But I digress. The reason why I wanted to blog was to flush out all the embarassing tingles in my soft (with all the fat) cheeks. During lunch, I got to seat with several interesting people. We were chatting like old friends (which we all thought was more enjoyable than eating the overly-seasoned sea bass) when this old, dignified looking man took the seat to my right. My this-man-is-probably-important radar bleeped so I immediately tried to encourage him to join the discussion (which of course, turned from the more exciting ang-sarap-ng-barbecue-sa-Cebu to the more relevant I-hope-the-government-solves-the-deficit-neutral-situation-before-2010 as soon as he joined us.) After a while, I stupidly asked him, "I'm sorry, I don't think I got your name." And he answered, "Oh, I'm Sedfrey Ordonez." (And I just imagined myself drowning in that soggy mango crepe that Dusit served for dessert.) He then asked me my name and the firm that I represent. Naturally, I answered him with a smile (with my voice coming out from my nose.) He didn't have to say that he knew the founders of our firm, but of course, he did. I cannot believe that after all these years of memorizing his name (first, as the Solicitar General, next, as the Secretary of Justice, and finally, as the Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations), I will fail to recognize him!

After the seminar, I went back to the office and immediately described my stellarly stupid moment to our managing partner. He immediately agreed that this can pass as the new most embarassing moment of my life.


Sunday, July 17, 2005

BT Cafe, Bagaberde and Growing Old

B and i just arrived from a really fulfilling el cheapo adventure to BT Cafe. BT Cafe, or Batangas Tapa Cafe, is a small resto at the boring end of Tomas Morato (near E. Rodriguez.) It serves grilled chicken, pork and batangas beef and kapeng barako. they give their clients the choice of ordering "eat-and-drink-all-you-can" from the menu for only P239 or a la carte. since we arrived at 9 and they close at 10, we decided to order a la carte.

the items on their menu are pretty cheap. the batangas tapa meal (with rice and fried egg) is P60. a single serving (no rice and fried egg) is P30. you can also order longanisa and beef franks at around the same price. they also serve porterhouse steak with rice for P105. it's P90 without the rice. the t-bone steak is a few pesos cheaper. they also serve sisig for P90. bottomless iced tea is P30.

B and i ordered the batangas tapa, the porterhouse steak and the sisig. the batangas tapa was so good! it was tender and perfectly seasoned. unfortunately, there was only a handful of it so i ordered an extra single serving. B loved the sisig (I didn't - it had egg and mayo!) so he ate everything on the sizzling plate. the porterhouse was thin and a teeny bit tough, but it tasted ok. B ordered another serving.

we had so much fun eating everything that we ordered. we also loved the fact that our bill didn't even reach P500. my only complaints were that they didn't serve hot tea (I NEEDED IT!) and the place was a bit too small at around 3 meters x 7 meters.

All in all, the BT Cafe really gives value for your money. However, it is definitely not for the claustrophobic.


last night, my officemates and i went to bagaberde to see MYMP live. B was supposed to join us but backed out when he learned that MYMP will be alternating with the wiseguys.

when we arrived at around 9:30, the place was already packed. the wiseguys were already performing and i was surprised to find myself enjoying their show. each of the guys had acceptable singing voices and i appreciated their attempt to sing in harmony. they more than made up with whatever they lacked in talent with their stage projection.

after an hour and a half, it was MYMP's turn. i just love juris' voice! however, it was the only thing i liked about their performance. hearing them sing live wasn't too different from watching their music videos. BUT, there are only a few bands who have real talent so i still enjoyed their set.

when the wiseguys came back on stage for their second set, my officemates and i were ready to dance (busog na kasi!). the wiseguys didn't disappoint. they sang dance tunes for an hour and didn't give us an opportunity to stop. the funny thing was that not everyone in bagaberde was dancing. there were only a handful of us but we weren't so bothered about it since we were seated at the back so we weren't blocking anyone's view and we really didn't care what other people thought of us. plus, from the way some of the younger girls grooved in their chairs, we knew that they also wanted to dance but were just too shy or self-conscious to do so. ha! old age really does come with confidence. it so nice to be old! hee.

B and i are planning to go back on july 23 to watch side a and pido.

Monday, July 11, 2005

exploring pasig

after picking up our DVDs (season 1 of golden girls, ang tatanda na namin!) from Metrowalk, B and I decided to explore the Ortigas area.

since i wanted a facial, we decided to go to robinson's galleria. except for the addition of the east wing (that offers free wifi), there's not much change in galleria. so we didn't have any difficulty looking for our then-favorite stores - the computer shops near automatic center, the pet store at the top floor, and the toy store in front of it. we also visited filbars where i found a CD for bookworm, a game that i'd once given up hope of finding (i went through all the stores in greenhills and failed to find it there.) i was so happy that i also bought B a CD of a scanned X-men comic book.

while going around the mall, we also found a hotloops donut branch. we got the white chocolate donut and the bavarian. their dough was good (better than gonuts donuts) and their donut was not too sweet. i didn't like their bavarian filling, though.

after going around, i got a little tired and took a break at bo's coffee. i ordered tea and i appreciated the fact that the lady on the counter voluntarily told me that i can get hot water refills for free.

we so enjoyed exploring galleria together that i forgot that i wanted to have a facial.

afterwards, we decided to have a little adventure by trying out a new restaurant. (by "new", i mean that we haven't eaten there previously.) we checked out cafe juanita in brgy. kapitolyo.

the little restaurant was a feast for the eyes! it was decked with a lot of different stuff - each corner was filled with breads, masks, stuffed toys, buddha heads, candle sticks, scarves, silk butterflies, and other knick knacks. but it didn't looked cramped at all. everything seemed to fit perfectly and the place made me feel i was in another world!

the servers were nice and recommended the crispy seafood and the two-way adobo spare ribs. the crispy seafood was okay (it was the thai version of the palad that we eat at home) but the two-way adobo spare ribs was excellent! the beef was tender and it was perfectly seasoned. the crispy adobo flakes was perfect with it. it was so good that we decided to order more food (hay, i-justify ba ang katakawan?) we ordered the shrimp wrapped in sugar cane and the spicy spare ribs. The shrimp was okay (B didn't like it, though) but the spicy spare ribs was even more delicious than the two-way adobo spare ribs - the spare ribs were crisp but were so juicy and tasty! SARAP!

we also loved their mango jubilee. it had a few mango balls but it had the right amount of liquor.

and the best thing about it? our bill was only a little above P1,000. maligaya na naman ang mga biik!

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

afternoon delight

after bugging B for a week, he finally agreed to watch batman with me. we were planning to catch the first show in greenbelt 3 but since i took a long time taking a shower (which is not surprising), we missed it. B suggested that we enjoy a frozen zombie litro (a liter of iced zombie) at masa's while waiting for the 4:50 show.

the zombie was really good! it had a pretty good kick despite its fruity taste. it was perfect with the kesong puti sticks and tokwa't baboy that we ordered. i wanted the nilasing na hipon (my favorite!) but it was not available. we so enjoyed the appetizers that we finished everything in less than 30 minutes! the waiter recommended the clams. he said that he'll ask the chef to make it a little spicy. it's a good thing we listened to him as the clams were the perfect compliment to the zombie! the gluttons that we are finished off the generous serving in less than 15 minutes! but since we were feeling a bit full, we just ordered kesong puti sticks. we also ordered another zombie litro.

after an hour and a half of drinking, we finally left masa's. we passed by the globe hub before going to the cinema to follow up my phone line. the lady at the counter was so nice. she was also efficient as i got my line the next day.

when we got to the cinema floor, we got popcorn from chimara. the lady at the counter was so nice! unfortunately,the popocorn was overcooked so we didn't fully appreciate the white cheddar flavor.

the girl at the cinema door was also cheery. it was then that i realized that i was walking around with a silly grin on my face. no wonder everyone was smiling at me.

the movie featured the darker side of batman. but we enjoyed every minute of it! the puns were funny and the cinematography was great. but the biggest joke was that the supporting actors were bigger stars than the lead. and sorry to christian bale fans, but my tipsy self just didn't see his charm. all i saw was that he needed dental work. i still loved the movie, though.

we passed by grappa's before going home. B wanted to drink their freshly brewed beer. i had to wake early the next morning so i just ordered orange juice. i guess i was still smiling stupidly as the servers were very nice even if i was just wearing a big shirt, really short cut-offs and slippers.

it was a good day. so good that even my nightmares made me smile.

and with B as my hubby, i'm sure there'll be more of that.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

taking a break

these past few weeks has been crazy for me.

there's always my day job (which i love, despite the thousands of hair strands that i lost because of it) and enjoying life as mrs. b (we finished watching all seasons of the sopranos, the first season of desperate housewives and about a dozen korean movies. we're now enjoying the second season of golden girls.)i also finished andie's scrapbook (andie is my officemate's daughter. she's not my goddaughter but she calls me ninang. the scrapbook featured pictures taken during her first birthday party. i finished in time for her 2nd birthday. hehe. as for the scrapbooking, i enjoyed doing it. which is good since my other officemate requested me to make scrapbook for my godson's birthday.) I'm also trying to design the invitation for my niece's first birthday. as for our wedding album . . . well, there's a time for that. (hopefully before our first year anniversary!)

on the other hand, i also learned how to use adobe audition to create ringtones for my phone. plus, i also managed to link my computer with B's so now we can surf the net at the same time. yippee! now, i've convinced myself that i can learn anything so i'm really considering facing my fear of numbers and taking a second degree next year - accounting! (since i have no plans of taking a leave from work, i'll have to take morning classes. yaiks.)

anyway, B and i took a break from all these activities today and spent the afternoon doing other things that we enjoy - B shopped for books while i had a back massage. we capped the day by trying out this new resto - rasa.

rasa is a singaporean restaurant located at the araneta coliseum. at first, we thought the the place was small but when we got in, we saw that there were more tables at the second floor. the waitresses were very friendly and efficient. taking a cue from the symbols on their menu, we ordered their specialties - the hainanese chicken and the singaporean chili crab.

the hainanese chicken was excellent! the chicken was tender and it was already flavorful even without the ginger, the chili paste and the soy sauce. each part of the chicken was perfectly cooked.

but nothing beats the singaporean chili crab. the crab was obviously fresh (we saw him when he was still alive) when it was cooked. it was so perfectly cooked that the meat just falls off its shell! the chili singaporean sauce was also very delicious. even after we finished the crab meat, B ate the sauce with the remaining half cup of rice (and he is NOT fond of eating rice.)

we also tried the raffle's cheesecake and it was also good. it was not to sweet and it tasted like heaven was melting in your mouth.

rasa is really an eater's paradise!

we're already planning what dishes we'll be trying the next time we visit.

sarap kumain!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Fwd: happy about my new toy

stuck in traffic again. but my new toy is keeping me from getting bored.

for a person who used her nokia 5110 until year 2003, even i was
surprised when i got this expensive gadget. i don't understand why
people had to change their phones every so often. phones that look
like pdas but don't have pda functions irritate me. i find phones that
look good but do not have any extra features a total waste of money.
and i get frustrated with people whose use of their treo or O2 phones
is limited to what they can do with a nokia 3120.

but this communucator was something that i really wanted. it looks
like a brick but it has some functions that i needed. like most pda
phones, it allows me to check my emails and surf the net whereever i
may be. it also allows me to use mp3 files as ringtones. i can also
download and read ebooks. it also allows me to blog more often. but
more importantly, i can draft and revise word documents and i can even
make power point presentations! it has been less than 2 weeks since i
got the phone but i already had to use both functions. (it also has
spreadsheet capabilities but since i'm an idiot in excel, i do not
have any idea how to take advantage of this program.)

PLUS, i get to play mah jong! yipee!

i'm really happy i got one. now, i'm enjoying surfing the net and
looking for software that would justify my not shopping for 2 months
just so i can buy this phone without guilt.

oh. and dio, naku, sana nga di ko mabagsak-bagsak. but since it is a
bit big, it's not easy to drop. as for losing it, i already had it
insured. hay, magastos maging maluho.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

mobile blogging

i may have found a solution to my i-miss-blogging problem. mobile blogging!

after several weeks of negotiations for a huge and important contract,
i convinced myself that i deserve a treat on top of my weekly
massages - a pda phone. for several days, i searched the net for
reviews and played with the pda phones of my officemates.

on saturday, i finally decided to buy a nokia 9500 communicator. i knew
that it would be cheaper if i got one from globe or smart but their
business centers in megamall didn't have a promo on the communicator.

on sunday, after our father's day lunch, we went to the cybermall in
eastwood. abenson was selling the communicator at zero interest for 6
months. i already got excited upon seeing the sample phone. but before
i purchased the phone, i went up to the smart business center to check
their requirements for a new line (the gprs functions of the phone
wouldn't work with a prepaid line. i wanted to use my old phone for my
existing globe line.) i was so happy to see that they have a promo on
the communicator! unfortunately, the idiot on the counter answered
each of my questions by saying that my paycheck is important:

abie: what are the requirements for getting a line? ganoon din ba ang
requirements if i want to avail of your promo for the communicator?

idiot: ay, maam. important and proof of financial capacity. hindi
ma-a-approve ang application niyo kung hindi niyo ma-meet ang
financial requirements.

abie: ah. ok. pwede na ba ang W2 o kailangan ba ITR?

idiot: ok na ang W2 pero maam, depende talaga sa sweldo niyo kung
ma-a-approve ang application niyo.

abie: aside from the ITR, what do i need to bring?

idiot: valid ID, proof of billing, kung ITR, dapat may kasama na
payslip. pero kailangan niyo talagang ma-meet yung minimum monthly
income requirement.

abie: i'm sure i'll meet that pero di bale na lang. di na kita feel kausapin.

so, i went to globe to bug them in giving me a discount for the
communicator. it turns out that they have a father's day promo. since
rey and i both have globe lines, i was able to get the communicator at
a good price and without need of submitting documents. and now I'm
using it to blog!


i hope this works.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Porkchop and her Opera

No more talk of hunger
Replace with well-done veal
Gruyere over my taco
Ricotta, Raclette, Romano

All I want is freedom
To scratch my itchy ears
I'm here, with you, beside you
To wake you and to kiss you

Say you'll feed me
Every waking moment,
turn my head with talk of dinnertime
Say you'll marinate it
now and always . . .
promise me my maid would feed me too -
that's all I ask of you . . .

To that steak in the freezer,
I'll wait for you tonight
You're safe, No one will find you.
Until I ask Rose to grill you.

Give me some more Ringo
To get me through the night . . .
and you always beside me
The kitchen you will guide me . . .

Then say you'll share with me
One meal, one lunch time . . .
Let me lead you to the bags of food. . .
Share the bacon with you
here, beside you . . .
anywhere we go,
let's barbecue
Feed me, that's all I ask
of you . . .

Then say you'll share with me
One meal, one lunch time . . .
Dangle meat and I will follow you . . .

Share each cake with me, each
night, each morning

Say you'll feed me . . .

(Kamote cue)

Feed me, that's all I ask
of you . . .

Thursday, June 02, 2005

in the news today - our firm's 25th anniversary

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

bits and pieces

after my long absence from blogging, i am finding it difficult to blog again. so i'll just use pictures to remind me of how i enjoyed the month of may.

Hi, I'm Abie and I am a butong-pakwan addict.

Yup, despite suffering from chinese food syndrome (i have too much salt in my body so i get dizzy), I have to admit that I am now addicted to watermelon seeds. B and I have been munching on butong pakwan everytime we watch a dvd. and we watch a dvd almost everynight (which is one reason why we haven't been blogging)! We've tried most brands available in supermarkets. We love the ones sold by Shopwise - they have a smokey flavor. Toby's is second best. Each seed tastes like a generic butong pakwan but it's easy to crack unlike that of Sid's which requires a sledgehammer to crack (I didn't wear braces for years just to ruin my teeth trying to eat a water melon seed!)

I can't believe I wrote a whole paragraph on butong pakwan.

My mom's birthday (May 12) is pretty close to Mothers' Day so when she was still alive, my siblings and I tried to make Mothers' Day extra special. Since her death a few years ago, we have toned down our Mothers' Day celebration but we always make it a point to bring our families together. This year, we all met at her grave and brought the kids (my three nieces - Nikki, Sophie and Sam) to McDonald's in Eastwood for breakfast (they really are a good excuse to have the Langgonisa meal.) We so enjoyed our little get-together that we left McDonald's only after the lunch crowd has finished eating.

Last Sunday, we attended Sophie's ballet recital at the Podium. We were all worried about Sophie having a tantrum and refusing to dance onstage (she's just 4!) But the whole time that she was performing (she was in 3 numbers) she was smiling and she seemed to be enjoying the performance (of course she had her own choreography but who cares?!) She also looked adorable in her costumes! I was such a proud aunt.

This should be in part 2 of this blog (which I'm planning to write in a couple of days) but I couldn't wait to brag about my new shoes!

This beautiful pair was given to me by G, B's daughter (I'd love to be her mom but she already has 3 moms. In any case, I also enjoy being her tita as I get to be her kikay buddy.) G spent a few weeks in the US with her maternal grandmother and this pair was what she gave me for her pasalubong when she got back last Monday. I was so excited that I wore them today. Aside from being pretty, they're pretty comfy, too. I had them on the whole day and even walked from our office in Perea to Greenbelt 3. And I didn't get a single bruise from my new shoes!

Speaking about G, she has bloomed into a pretty lady this summer. During the past 2 months, she shed a lot of weight and with her newly straightened hair, our sweet little girl has transformed into a lovely teenager. (I can't believe that she's the same baby we brought to Malabon Zoo almost a decade ago - I almost fainted when she squeezed the snake!) She'll be in first year high school this June and I am so excited for her! (I wonder if B shares my excitement - he already got stressed when a male caller asked for G. I can still hear him say, "She's not here" when his daughter was only in the next room.) I'm not too worried about her, though. With the pair of shoes that she gave me, I am convinced that she's got great taste.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

April 29 pics

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my made-to-order neck clasp with pendant from Ciara Creates

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posing with my Neil O'shima pic

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at home with B after he picked me up from our party (at 1:30 am)!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Bank of the Pillaging Irritants

About a week ago, their machine captures my ATM card without any reason. I entered my correct PIN, tried to withdraw an amount that was way below my balance, they approved the transaction, but suddenly, the card gets stuck in the machine. So, I had to waste time claiming my card and having it activated.

Yesterday, they debited P8,000 from my ATM account. I had to make a few phonecalls and waste at least an hour before I found out that the P8,000 was payment for my credit card. The haughty girl on the other line justified it by saying that I haven't paid my credit card bills for the last 2 months and that P8,000 was actually less than my credit card bills. What she didn't know was that as soon as I get my credit card bills, I already schedule online payments to be deducted from my payroll account (which is different from my ATM account) as soon as they become due. Unfortunately, BPIDirect had technical problems and they failed to deduct my bill payments from my payroll account. So, yesterday, without even trying to inform me, they deducted P8,000 from my ATM account.

I've already asked for the termination of my BPI Credit Card. I've cleaned out my ATM Account and I've already checked the requirements for getting an ATM for my payroll account. As for paying the rest of my credit card bill, I've decided to be petty and wait for them to sue me. I'll make sure that their lawyers squeeze money from them first before they get the rest of my payments.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Another interesting non-client related work

I had an interesting work assignment yesterday evening - at 6 pm, one of the partners called me up and asked me to "supervise" the wine tasting activity at the office. It appears that the beverage committee for our firm anniversary requested Sommellier Selection to bring in samples of their French wine to help us decide which champagne and wine to serve at the party. Unfortunately, the partners in charge of the event where still meeting with the hotel people so they requested me to join the activity.

When I was going to the venue, I suddenly realized that I was totally unprepared for wine tasting - I was a bit hungry as I only ate a salad for lunch. But when I got to the venue, I was relieved when I saw 7 bottles of red wine in the middle of rows of wine glasses, champagne flutes and cheese boards.

I had a small chat with the french GM of Sommelier, Jerome Philippon. He happily informed me that aside from the 7 reds on the table, he also brought with him 2 bottles of champagne and another 2 bottles of white wine.

I didn't have time to panic as Jerome suddenly started the activity. We started with the champagne - Ruinart Blanc de Blanc and Ruinart Brut. I loved the Ruinart Blanc de Blanc! The Ruinart Brut seemed too vulgar compared to it. All the other "winte tasters" agreed with me.

Next came the white wines - we had Les Amandiers 2003 and Clos Verdots 2004. I'm not really a fan of white wine but I found the Les Amandiers 2003 too sweet and fruity. Most of the others couldn't decide which was better. However, since we were forced to choose one, we got the Clos Verdots 2004.

We were supposed to take a break before we tried the reds but every one of us still felt sober so we decided to proceed with the reds. We started with the regular ones - we had the Reserve Grand Arc 2002, the Clos Verdots 2001, the Les Amandiers 2003 the Mont Aureolus 2001, and another wine that was not worth mentioning here. (It wasn't really so bad but I didn't think I'd want to drink it again so I didn't bother getting the brand.) We loved the Reserve Grand Arc 2002 and the Mont Aureolus 2001. So, we tasted both wines again then decided to vote on it. The Reserve Grand Arc 2002 won. And so did everybody in that room. We were all quite happy when we were tasting the Reserve Grand Arc 2002 again.

After deciding on the regular reds, a few of us dropped out of the activity (most of the males!). So only a handful of us were left to taste the premium reds. We had the Rouge 2003, the En Sol Majeur 2002 and the Le Petit Duc 2002. We loved the Rouge 2003 and the Le Petit Duc 2002. So, 8 happy people tasted both wines again and cheerfully pronounced the Le Petit Duc 2002 as the better one.

Not wanting to waste the good bottles of wine, the 8 (6 females and 2 males, including Jerome) of us stayed and finished off every single drop of wine in the room. We had lots of fun talking about the lovelife (or the lack of it) of the lone male lawyer who stayed with us. It seemed that Jerome was also enjoying himself as he stayed until all of us had to leave.

However, Jerome's alcohol-given happiness was short-lived. When we phoned him for our order this afternoon, we found out that he couldn't remember taking a cab home and has no idea where he left his Treo.

As for the rest of us, we all had to come to work this morning and ignore whatever stomach acidity and/or hangover that we were having.

And me? I just wish that we have as much fun during our firm anniversary as we had last night.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

I can finally blog!

Nope, I wasn't too busy too blog. In fact, my workload has been quite manageable these past few days that I managed to squeeze in a highly enjoyable non-client related work this morning - I spent half the day looking at photo albums for our Firm's anniversary.

The problem is that everytime that I try to blog, I encounter a big problem - all 180 lbs of it. B. He's now into blogging and has been using our sole internet connection everytime I feel like blogging. (We each have a computer but since we only have 1 phone line, we're forced to share an internet connection.) I don't mind, though, as I love reading his blogs, which, despite the curses, complaints and the batallion of big words, never fail to make me laugh.

But now that he's into writing his story (he's still deciding if it will be a short story or a novel), I get to use the internet! Yey! Nope, he hasn't stopped blogging, it just happended that he already published his blogs by the time I got home.

Yaiks. Now that I can blog, I have no idea what to write! So, I'll just bore you with details of what I did last weekend.


Oh well, I did write about my weekend but my computer had other ideas, froze and refused to work. But for the curious, here's the quick list of what I did to spare B of the horrible takaw-away effects of my PMS - I had an intense diamond peel at Blue Mountains (it was so great! They were able to take out my facial blemishes without having to do any pricking), followed by a foot spa at the California Advance Nail-Care Specialists (they used an exfoliating lotion that saved them from having to physically slough the old skin from my legs and feet) and went back to Blue Mountains for a Swedish massage (it was pretty relaxing). I was lucky enough to have able therapists (Grace, Glen and Gemma) so I truly enjoyed my day!

Unfortunately, I got a series of not-so-bad-but-really-irritating news as soon as I got home, so I was back to my PMS mood when I got home to B. One of the irritants was the fact that there was no food left for me when I got home. I was so hungry that I called up KFC for some nourishment. I got 2 salads for me (Asian and Ceasar) and a 2-piece chicken meal for B. The Asian salad was edible but the Ceasar was terrible! The dressing was too thick and the usual chicken slices were so microscopic to be even noticed. B's chicken meal was a disaster! The two pieces of chicken were the size of chicken nuggets!!! By the time we finished our meals, we were both in PMS modes.

But B being B, still gave me a hug while he was deep in sleep. As for me, I was my usual batugan self, I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

due to the number coding scheme here in metro manila, i can't use our car in makati on mondays. and with the pink fences all over edsa, my travel time from capitol hills to makati has been extended from 1 hour to 1 hour and a half. this means that hailing a cab at 10 am on mondays is as difficult as finding a size 6 pair of shoes at 7 pm during a midnight madness sale in glorietta.

last monday was not an exception. B drove me to quezon city hall where the sheer presence of police officers force taxi drivers to accept passengers regardless of the destination. as soon as i got out of our car, i was able to hail a cab. but as soon as i told the driver about my destination, he started to grumble, curse and drive as if he had diarrhea. he'd heavily step on the gas and the brake pedals in 5 to 10 second intervals. 30 minutes into the ride, it took all efforts for me not to barf. 15 minutes later, i was dreaming of barfing all over his seatcovers just so i can have my revenge. i got to the office in 55 minutes.

since i didn't get to barf inside the cab, i just consoled myself by paying the exact fare in old P20 bills and lots of coins.


on tuesday, while having another check-up, i needed to have some forms signed at the laboratory of capitol med. as soon as you enter the door, you'll see hugh yellow laminated numbers and a sign requesting patients to wait for their number to be called. i got number 29. unfortunately, while mrs. laboratory was entertaining number 28, numbers 34 and 35 stood in front of the counter.

as soon as she finished entertaining number 28, mrs. laboratory entertained number 35. i got irritated and approached the counter and nicely reminded mrs. laboratory that she was supposed to call clients by numbers. mrs. laboratory replied that she didn't take so much time entertaining number 35. as soon as she finished entertaining number 35, number 34 started waiving her documents and her number to mrs. laboratory. when mrs. laboratory started to get the papers, i beat her to it and gave her my forms and my number instead. only after mrs. laboratory finished signing my forms did i leave number 34's documents on the counter. she should thank her lucky stars that i didn't give in to the urge of tearing her documents to pieces.


and since bad luck comes in threes, the atm along jp rizal in makati captured my card for no apparent reason. so tomorrow, i have to claim my atm in makati then have the cubao branch activate it. on a payday. hay.


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on a happier note, i was able to visit Ciara Creates to have a necklace made.

our firm's celebrating its 25th anniversary in makati shang this april. we're required to wear business formals so i'm stuck to wearing a suit. upon the suggestion of francis (of njork, rey insisted on having them sew my suit) i'm planning to use the necklace to dress up my otherwise boring outfit.

i met ciara for the first time and immediately realized that the pictures in her website didn't do her justice. she was much prettier in person. she also patiently explained what type of materials she uses and she let me try on a few pieces. her jewelry are so pretty that i ended up buying a couple of earrings.

the prices of her jewelry are not greenhills cheap but i like the materials she uses. i also like her designs. i can't wait to see my necklace!

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this post is so boring that i'm starting to fall asleep as i write it.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

mixing business with pleasure

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On March 29 to April 1, I was requested by our client to attend a workshop on Tagaytay. Since all the other attendees were males, they didn't mind (I actually felt that they encouraged it, even) that B tag along with me (it saves them from having to take care of me.) B wasn't too ecstatic about the idea but he perked up when I told him that he can bring the XBox and the DVD Player. (We're done saving the world as wolverine and cyclops. We also saved Shrek's swamp as Fiona and Puss in Boots. Shrek was a real sissy.)

Day 1

B and I drove to Tagaytay on a warm Tuesday morning (he did the actual drving, I attempted to give directions.) Like any other trip to the south, we stopped at the gas station along the expressway. B got coffee from Starbucks while I ran to the convenience store to buy my Raisinets. Unfortunately, they didn't have stock so B had to endure the rest of the drive with a grouchy wife.

When we reached the rotonda in Tagaytay, we stopped at 7-11 to ask for directions (I was useless in giving it) and to buy essential supplies (san mig light for B and vodka ice and smirnoff ice for me.) Finding the mixed drinks at a little lower than Manila prices cheered me up. (But I'm not an alcoholic. Really.)

We arrived at the Tagaytay Vista Hotel at around 1. Checking in was a breeze as the client already made arrangements with the hotel. The hotel room was spacious and nicely furnished. It had cream walls with dark wood furniture and a king-sized bed. It also had a clean-looking tub. Happy b!

As we walked to our room, the partner in charge of the account sent us a message and invited us to have lunch at the cafe as they had lots of leftovers. B and I pigged out on the not-so crispy pata, the deep-fried happy-to-be-dead-looking tawilis and the decent meal of the hour, chicken pork adobo. the sinigang na hipon would have been perfect had it not given me allergies just a few minutes later. They also served kare-kare which was as orange as elmo and as burnt as B during our adventure cruise in Samui. But, since the meal was free, we were happy. (Ang kukuripot!!!)

After my presentation, I was excused from work, so B and I explored the nearby towns. We literally went down a hill to Santi's were we bought a bar of hazelnut chocolate and a few hundred grams of Emmenthal cheese. The bar of chocolate didn't even get past Santi's doors as the glutton that I am devoured it in a few seconds.

A few minutes of driving also brought us to the Olivarez Center. It had a tiny supermarket, a bowling and billiard hall and a few small shops and an internet cafe. It was the biggest shopping place in Tagaytay. It didn't get my heart beating faster, though.

As the sun hid behind the shadows of the mountains on the horizon (play the Marlborough song here), B and I made our way to Massimo's. We ordered the hot artichoke dip, tomato soup, Ceasar's salad, garden salad, pizza and hanging tenders.

We loved scooping the creamy artichoke dip with the toasted bread that they served with it. The dip was so yummy - it had the perfect blend of artichokes and melted cheese. We also loved the salad that they served - my Ceasar's salad had freshly-grated Parmesan cheese and real bacon chunks. Each crisp leaf was also lightly covered with the perfectly flavored sauce. It was the best Ceasar salad I ever had. I also enjoyed the tomato soup which was sour in a good way. B and I shared the hanging tenders which was well-cooked (which for us means, medium well and not well done) and perfectly seasoned. True to its name, each bite was so tender and gave a burst of flavor. The mashed potatoes that went with the meal was so creamy that it caressed our tongues. We completed the meal with molten chocolate cake and panna cotta. Had it not for the perfect balance of bitterness and sweetness, as well as the teasing presence of both hot and warm temperatures, I would have wiped the molten chocolate cake directly to my love handles, the fat would eventually go there anyway. As for B's panna cotta, it was so light that we were fooled into thinking that it didn't pack any calories. It was the perfect-first-out-of-town-after-the-honeymoon meal for us.

After a small chat with the owners and watching lizards eat mosquitos at their porch, we happily drove back to our hotel with our satisfied tongues and over-worked tummies.

Day 2

Unlike our first day where I was able to get off from work early, the second day was a reminder that I was in Tagaytay to work and not to go off galivanting in the countryside. We finished at a little past 7 pm.

B and I valiantly tried to reach Antonio's by 7:30. Unfortunately, it was so dark after the Mendez junction that we missed our turn. We asked for directions from locals who each had their version of the way to Antonio's (I guess there were lots of residents in Tagaytay named Antonio.) After reaching Nasugbu, making frantic calls to office mates and friends, we finally found the road leading to Antonio's. It was the perfect setting for a horror-movie - the road was dark and empty aside from the occasional black cat that would stare at the car's headlights before crossing the street. The road was long and winding and it led us to a huge wooden gate that had a huge closed sign. Damn.

Now it was my turn to endure the rest of the drive back to the main street with a grumpy husband. We decided to have dinner at Breakfast at Antonio's where we had a decent breakfast at dinnertime. The meal was uneventful - we could have eaten at Cafe Breton and we wouldn't know the difference. The good thing about the place was the food wasn't that expensive, they didn't use bags for my hot tea and we got to eat at the porch where gentle winds continuously caressed our faces throughout our meal. The whole time, we reminisced about our college years where we would go to Antipolo to drink. We'd go to the resto that had separate nipa huts with red bulbs as tables and menu's that said "Cole's Law". We remembered that we had so much fun over 10-peso beers and sisig.

Despite the not-so-spectacular meal, we went back to our hotel with a smile on our face, which was easily wiped out by the guards at the hotel when they refused to let us bring our half-eaten burger to our room. Hay. We went back to our rooms and a few minutes later, the resourceful B managed to smuggle in the burger! Ha!

Day 3

Day 3 was good mix of business with pleasure. I had work to do but we were excused from the seminar oom at 5:30. B and I took the opportunity to go back to Antonio's. This time, we didn't get lost going there. But as soon as we entered Antonio's gate, we were lost in another world.

Going to Antonio's is like going through the dark woods to reach the Secret Garden. The place was truly worth the drive with its Asian-inspired decor, black and white photographs, Moroccan chandeliers, huge but not offensive vases of flowers and hundred of candles. The food was also excellent! When I got my salad plate, I was disappointed that it had that bitter arugula (which I hate) but puzzled that it had a tart. But as soon as I started eating the tart with the greens, I was amazed! the sweetness of the tart cancelled out the bitterness of the arugula but left a good flavor on the tongue. I was not surprized when I ate everything, including each arugula leaf. After the tasty soup, we were served our Rib Eye. It was a bit too well done but the tenderness and the subtle flavors more than made up for it. The seasoning perfectly highlighted the taste of the beef. Their flourless chocolate cake wasn't as good as Massimo's molten chocolate cake but their chocolate with mint was definitely a treat! It wasn't too sweet and the mint didn't overpower the chocolate. They also served herbal tea and perfect-tasting mojito's.

Unfortunately, this good eating experience came with a price. Our bill was at least P3000! Hay.

On the way back, we scared ourselves by sharing ghost stories while driving along the dark road. We had so much fun!

Back in the hotel, B helped us make the printer work and I reviewed a major agreement for the rest of the night while B perfected his basketball skills on the XBox.

Day 4

If we didn't hear the news about the heat wave that struck Manila on thurday, we would have been eager to go back to Manila that Friday. Truth to tell, there was really nothing to do in Tagaytay but eat (unless you want to ride the depressed-looking horses next to the hotel). And so, after we wrapped up our workshop in the morning, B and I set out to look for another food adventure. We initially wanted to go to Marina's Garden but no one seemed to know where it was. We then set out for Hacienda Isabella but halfway there, we decided that we wanted to eat in a place with really powerful airconditioners as it was getting too warm. We didn't feel like eating in a garden setting.

So we ended up in Josephine's where we had mediocre fried chicken, bad tempura and good-but-not-great lumpiang ubod. From the way we complained about our meal, it was hilarious that when we finished eating, there was not a morsel of food left on the table! We wanted to take more pictures but it was oppressively hot outside that we decided to cool ourselves at the nearby Casino Filipino. We promptly lost P600.

By mid-afternoon, we were on our way back to Manila. We tried out an alternative route which led us back to the main highway. There we saw the hue sign of Ming's Garden. We were not really hungry but our curiosity won and we decided to stop by.

Ming's Garden had a huge nursery for seedlings and a cozy garden. I enjoyed their halo-halo which had unusual ingredients such as buko-pandan and smoothly shaved ice. Everything there was so easy on the eyes and the mist that automatically watered the plants lowered the temperature to a comfortable level. It was truly a perfect ending to our Tagaytay trip.

For B's version of our Tagaytay trip, you may want to visit:

Yes, he now has a blog (which is good because he writes really well), but he shares it with 2 other negative thinking friends. Read it at your own risk - as their blog address suggests, you can expect the blog to be full of complaints, curses, rants and have i mentioned negative thoughts?


More photos are posted at:

Sunday, March 27, 2005

kodak moments

the first quarter of 2005 has transformed me into a busy b.

in january, i was busy adjusting to married life with B at hotel hogan, which is what we call our house on hogan street. his mom runs it like a hotel. we just love the room service and the free accommodations. hehe.

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later that month, B, G and I had lots of fun in Enchanted Kingdom in San Pedro, Laguna. since it was their low season, the lines were short so we got to ride our favorite attractions twice! it was a good idea to bring an extra set of clothes as a couple of rides left us so drenched that we had to squeeze all our clothes (including our underwear) before we can pack them in our bags.

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in february, i organized the party for nanay lilia. nanay has been with our family for at least 37 years. she never left us even if for a time we could not afford to give her anything more than the tuition and the allowance of her daughter, ate janet. ate janet is now a nurse-midwife in uae so nanay is no longer working for us. but since she is very close to our family, she opted to live next door to our (or rather, fatherlily's) house. for her 70th birthday, we invited some of her friends to dinner and a videoke session at the rooftop of fernandina 88 suites in cubao. it was well-attended (she had 91 guests!) and almost everyone got to sing and/or greet nanay on stage. i was so tired but i was just so happy to see nanay finally celebrating her birthday without having to cook anything. i was also so touched that she chose to wear the gown that she wore for our wedding.

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earlier this month, i turned 30! unfortunately, we were negotiating a big contract that day so i welcomed my 30th birthday while drafting term sheets for at least 3 definitive agreements. it's a good thing that the secretary of the partner i'm working with remembered my birthday and reminded her boss about it. so in the middle of the contract negotations, they brought in a cake with a giant candle, asked everyone (yup, including the german foreign counsel) to sing the birthday song, opened a few bottles of wine and gave me a gift that i prayed for - they let me go home early (actually, i got to leave at 7pm but that was already relatively early.) i couldn't believe that i got to eat my birthday dinner with B! we pigged out in Circles, at Makati Shang. the roast beef wasn't that good but the shrimp, the crab claws, the salmon and the chocolate fountain more than made up for it. we didn't take any pictures as we didn't want to have any evidence of our gluttony. hehe.

a few days later, B's daughter, G, graduated from elementary! she looked so pretty in her gala uniform and i happily took the pictures. i also got to meet her relatives from her mom's side (but not her mom, whew.) we celebrated her graduation in Circles a few days later. (masaya na naman ang mga bulate sa tummy ko!!!)

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i also got to attend several weddings during the past few months. on fred and teenee's wedding, clarice and i got so hungry during the mass that we spent most of the time eating snacks at the sari-sari store in front of the church (ang sama!). during grace and patrick's wedding, rey and got to chat with clarice and bernard and eileen and matthew. we all proudly showed off our wedding rings when the host asked us to join the bouquet and garter toss.

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for the holy week, we heeded the priest's advice to love one another. hehe. seriously, though, we went to the Lourdes Grotto in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan for the stations of the cross. We also visited a few churches yesterday. And yes, I took photos but I haven't been able to upload them as I couldn't find my card reader. Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Signing off from WeddingsatWork

Signing off from WeddingsatWork
with a Really Long Goodbye Letter

posted at WeddingsatWork on 20 March 2005


Almost exactly a year ago, I joined Weddings at Work. I was quickly
introduced to a world of obsessive-compulsive brides (and grooms) who
spend so much time fussing over the tiniest details of their weddings
yet still have time to help out other brides and grooms.

A few days later, I found myself in Fernwood Gardens during the W@W5
(W@W's 5th Anniversary) as a reader for the mass, then as the
assistant of Mel Cortez at the marriage booth. There I met former
w@wies Clarice (ni Bernard) and Christine (ni Joseph). A few months
later, Clarice and I started doing our wedding preparations together –
we went on trips to Dangwa, Divisoria and the Star Paper warehouse. We
also went to Welcoat to have some of our wedding stuff laminated.
Shortly after her wedding, Christine joined the fun and gave us
helpful tips in finding raw materials for our D-I-Y wedding projects.
Around that time, another w@wie, Rhodora (ni Ryan) sent an e-mail to
W@W asking where she can find a minus-one of Panunumpa. I has one so I
answered her e-mail and a few days later, we met for lunch and had a
really good chat. A few weeks later, Clarice, Christine, Rhodora and
I, with a few other friends, were all working on wedding related stuff
together – we wrapped Rhodora and Ryan's soaps, tied ribbons on
Clarice and Bernard's home-made gel candles and folded the sleeves for
our CD souvenirs.

From that time on, we became friends. We organized bridal showers for
each other, attended each others weddings and enjoyed each and every
moment together. Along the way, they all became wedding suppliers –
Christine set-up Out of the Box Events, and Clarice, together with
Rhodora and a few other partners, set up An Event to Remember.

Clarice has been asking me to help her out in her venture but I have
been hesitant to do so – I have a demanding day job and frankly, I do
not think that the financial return in a wedding coordination business
is sufficient to pay for all the work, the stress and more
importantly, the risk of a bridezilla ruining your name.

But a few days ago, Clarice gave me an offer that I couldn't resist –
an opportunity to witness the wedding of a w@wie who had cool ideas
for her wedding. Unfortunately, I had a family dinner scheduled on the
same day of that wedding so I had to beg off. However, at the last
minute, or more specifically, at the last hour, our family dinner was
cancelled. So, at 6:30 pm last night, I arrived at Heritage Hotel to
help Clarice and her partners give the couple a reception to remember
(the wedding ceremony was done by that time). The work was
back-breaking and it required a lot of patience, but after turning
over all the wedding paraphernalia to the bride and the groom and
there was nothing left in the ballroom but memories of yet another
beautiful wedding, I had so much fun hanging out with my friends as we
basked in the high of accomplishing another task (it felt like I
signed a contract with a wedding supplier for our wedding!). And so
when Clarice asked me to help her out in the wedding of another w@wie,
I couldn't say no. (But I did tell her that I can only help her out
once in a while and insisted that I get to choose the couples that I
really like. After all, helping her out isn't business for me. She
agreed.) I also couldn't say no to Christine when she asked me to help
her in her new venture.

So I guess that makes me a wedding supplier. Which means that I will
have to say goodbye to the W@W family.

And I do so with a little sadness.

I really enjoyed being a w@wie. Through W@W, I was given the
opportunity to (a) have free pre-nuptial pictures taken by at least 10
photographers (and realize after the 8th photographer that I really
need a photojournalist as Rey and I both got headaches posing for the
camera), (b) appear on TV (and realize that I look terrible on screen
so I shouldn't have dreams of earning millions as an actress), (c)
have our wedding announced in the papers (and manage to pick a really
cheesy picture too!), and (d) have our caricatures made for free (I
refuse to comment about the finished product!). All these, I owe to
John and Benz. Thank you, guys!

The w@wies have also been a good source of information. Among other
things, I learned to (a) post our pictures online, (b) start an online
journal, (c) create our own wedding website, (d) make luminaries, (e)
line envelopes, and discover (a) the advantages of having a diamond
peel and (b) the next-to-heaven taste of Polly's chocolate cake. I
will definitely miss receiving my daily dose (in the hundreds!) of
e-mails from w@wies.

But more than that, because of W@W, we were able to meet friends and
suppliers who not only helped in making our wedding as beautiful and
as fun as we found it to be, but who continue to bring joy to our

For that, I will forever be grateful. Thank you.

I still owe a few more supplier ratings. I guess I'll just have to
send them through Benz.

Until then,
Abie ni Rey - the wedding addict
27 Dec 04/Mandarin

Sunday, March 13, 2005

honeymoon pictures!

hay, i've been so busy lately that i have no time for myself, much less blog! but rey's been wonderful so far and i'm so blessed to have him as my husband - he gets home early so he's the one who makes sure that (a) i have something to eat when i get home, (b) i drink my vitamins, (c) porkchop is fed well and taken for walks, (d) the car is running well, (e) everything at home is okay. isn't that sweet?

anyway, i was able to upload some of our honeymoon pics a few weeks back but i always forget to post the link!

the pics are posted here:

check out our pics on the elephant! i got to ride it bareback (buti na lang ayaw ni rey.)

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Supplier Ratings - Part I

Sent to Weddings@Work on 05 February 2005:

Here's the first installment of our supplier ratings. I made the ones for our hair and make-up, stylist and attire and first since I noticed that a lot of w@wies are currently looking for these suppliers.

I will be rating them from 1-10, based on professionalism, creativity and output. (Hay, mahirap talaga kung ang bride and groom ay parehong brats, may pagka-obsessive-compulsive sa mga detalye at FEELING creative.)

This is rather long, kasi may kasamang kwento.


We first met Eddie Bruan at a bridal fair. By that time, we already got quotations from Toto Bagasmad and Leony Diaz (gusto ko kasi nung una, barely there bridal make-up.) But we found their rates too expensive (meaning: above 10T. lumalabas na ang pagiging chipips namin! heehee.) Eddie showed us his album - we were impressed with his work. Meron siya doong mga before-and-after pics and talaga namang ang
laki ng ginanda ng mga brides! We also found out that he did the bridal make-up for my friend, K. Since love ni Rey yung make-up ni K during her wedding, and his rates were really reasonable (8T, kasama na buong family ko), we gave a downpayment to Eddie.

Eddie wrote the package that we negotiated at the back of his calling card, then signed his name. That would serve as our contract. After he received our downpayment, nagulat kami when Eddie suddenly offered to give me a free trial make-up right then at their booth! Sayang, we were in a hurry so we had to pass.

I had the opportunity to have a free trial make-up with Eddie during the W@W5. It took Eddie an hour to put on my make-up. When Rey saw me, he loved what he saw - sobrang bagay daw nung make-up sa akin. At sobrang sulit daw ang paghihintay niya. After that, I knew that Eddie would make me look pretty on our wedding day. Our photos taken during the W@W5 are posted at:

Eddie and his staff are very professional. A few days before the wedding, one of his staff members called me up to confirm the call time and the venue for the bridal preps. Our wedding was at 6pm and they suggested that we start at 1pm. I found that too early and requested that we start at 2pm. We compromised at 1:30pm.

On the day of the wedding, Eddie and his team arrived at 1:15. They set-up their equipment (yup, he has those "artista" mirrors and the lights that videographers use). We started at exactly 1:30pm. Eddie was so nice. Hindi siya nagreklamo when I told him na I no longer want the barely-there make-up that we previously agreed on - gusto ko na kasi ng glamorous look (sorry, ilusyonada talaga ako. heehee!) He was
also very gentle when putting on my make-up and combing my hair. He also didn't mind that I had to stand up a few times to do some stuff, answer calls, eat a pastry and drink. He was also able to work kahit ang iingay at ang gugulo naming magkakapatid. (Kwentuhan kasi kami ng kwentuhan.) After he finished doing my make-up, I loved what I saw in the mirror. With his make-up, I really felt so glamorous!

While we were having dinner, our guests kept on saying that I looked beautiful daw (naks! umakyat yata yung taba ng peking duck sa head nila!!!) May nag-comment pa nga na mukha daw akong artista (Naisip ko lang, artista din naman sina Whitney Tyson and Aiai de las Alas. Hmmm. Sino kaya sa kanila ang kamukha ko?) And weeks after the wedding, my officemates where asking for the contact number of Eddie B kasi ang
galing daw talaga ng pagka-make-up sa akin.

So my rating for Eddie B for the bridal make-up:

professionalism - 10
creativity - 10 (kahit ano'ng look, pwede!)
output - 10
FINAL SCORE: 10 (Highly recommended for bridal make-up)

For the entourage naman, si Norman ang gumawa. It is really difficult to find the right shade of foundation for our family kasi we're in different shades of yellow. Si, Eddie B., nagtagumpay sa akin. Unfortunately, medyo sablay si Norman sa sisters ko. While the eye make-up is ok, di ko feel yung pagka-blend ng foundation sa sisters ko (ok sa shots ng photogs pero mukhang kabuki sa non-pro cameras) pero sobrang okay naman yung ginamit nila for my nanay (ang yaya naming lahat) and for my 9-year old niece, Nikki. Sobrang nagmukhang prinsesa si Nikki! I guess, bagay-bagay lang talaga when it comes to make-up.

So my rating for Eddie B (more particularly, si Norman) for the make-up of the entourage:

professionalism - 10
creativity - 8
output - 8
FINAL SCORE: 8.6 (recommended pa rin)


I found Balay Kandila thru W@W. Ayaw kasi ni Rey mag-spend ng thousands for flowers so we decided to have alternative decors. We thought of decorating our venues with paper cranes. But everything has to be done well - our wedding ceremony, reception and cocktails were to be held in small functions rooms and we wanted our guests to forget that fact (otherwise, they'd expect to get free black pencils and small hotel stationery as souvenirs.)

I sent an e-mail to several suppliers about our ideas for our wedding. Not one of them responded.

Clarice, another w@wie, suggested that I give them a call. I did and I was able to schedule an appointment with Ronald. When I discussed our ideas with Ronald, I was so impressed with how he improved on my ideas (he suggested that we mix paper cranes with glass bubbles). I told him that our budget was limited since we were paying for the whole wedding. He agreed to work within our budget! I was so happy! On our
second meeting, Rey was with me. After our discussions with Ronald,Rey suggested that we give Balay Kandila an additional 5T (kasi para naman daw naming ninanakawan sina Ronald if we stick to our original budget.)

We met with Ronald a few more times to give him our paper cranes and to discuss our new ideas with him. (Kami na siguro ang pinakamakulit nilang client!) They also had a meeting with our account executive in Mandarin. Ronald never ran out of great ideas for our wedding. And when we came up with our own crazy ideas (paper cranes inside his pillar vases with the roses) he didn't budge and even said that he'd think of ways to make it happen.

And he did make it happen. On our wedding day, everyone was awed with how the function rooms were set-up. Fontaine room literally had hundreds of hanging cranes and glass bubbles and on the stage, the hanging candles proved to be a magnificent backdrop to our 2 pillar vases. On the otherhand, the centerpieces in Nash room were equally breath-taking. Everyone kept on asking us who our stylist was!

After dinner, I was surprised at how Ronald transformed the ceremony venue into a cocktail venue. Since our cocktail food was to be passed around and only the chips and chichacorn were to be placed on the cocktail tables, we didn't discuss how these would be decorated. So I was really surprised when Balay Kandila dressed them up! They were so lovely. (John Aguas took great shots of the tables.)

professionalism - 9 (A day before the wedding, one of his staff asked me for 50 more additional cranes. Hello? At kelan ko naman 'yon i-fo-fold?! Habang nagpapa-manicure?!!! I was irritated and immediately called up Ronald. He told me not to worry about it and that he'd have one of his staff fold the cranes.)
creativity - 11 (hee.)
output - 10
FINAL SCORE: 10 (Highly recommended)


For much less than 50t, Ding Marquez and his partner, Tani, made my bridal gown, my dressing gown, the princess-type gowns of our 2 flower girls, the gowns for my 2 sisters and nanay (my nanny when i was a kid).

He was the only designer who told me that I didn't have to go on a diet and that he'll take care of my problem area (I have a waist so thick that people think i'm pregnant) and he did - he managed to create a waist for me! Ding designed all the gowns and he really knows what type of cut would work on our imperfect figures. His
drawings were pretty but the gowns were even more beautiful! The dressing gown that he made for me not only gave me a waist, it also felt comfortable and it photographed beautifully! The bridal gown was even more beautiful. It was too extravagant for a civil wedding - just the way I wanted it. It had a full skirt, a bustle, and a diagonal detail that made the gown sparkle. And it was silver and shimmery and
it used really soft cloths (the outer layer was organdy.) For the dinner, we removed the bustle to allow me to move around. I could have removed the petticoat, too, but I was too lazy to do so.

People also raved about the gowns of the flower girls and that of my sisters. The gowns of the flower girls were really fluffy! The floral details that ran from the right side of the gown to the middle of the back was exquisite. On the other hand, my sisters' gowns emphasized their assets and effectively hid their problem areas. The gowns were problem-free and the materials used were heavy duty (I was so impressed with the zippers that they used.) I also loved the designs!

Tani was also an angel during the preps. He made sure that all the gowns fit well. When my bouquets arrived, we found that none of them suit the bridal gown. (The one with the stargazers did but the smell was too strong I couldn't stand to hold them for more than a minute.) When I mentioned that I had a crystal bouquet but I didn't like the way it was made, he looked for it (I forgot where I placed it) wrapped
a silver pouch around it, fixed the ribbon, made a few stitches and made the crystal bouquet beautiful in just a few minutes.

They also gave me a really long veil, but when I told Tani that I was having difficulty walking with it, he cut it off and made me a short one. He was such a darling! He made me cry when he refused to accept my tip. I was so touched by his kindness!

professionalism - 10
creativity - 10 (ang galing magtago ng hidden wealth!)
output - 10
FINAL SCORE: 10 (highly recommended)


Ever since I was a kid, lahat na ng barong and formal pants ng family namin are sewn by Daneche. They made all the barong and pants for the wedding of my 2 sisters and my brother. So we didn't hesitate to have Rey's and my father's attire to be made by Daneche.

Fatherlily was the first one to get measured (nagpapapayat pa kasi ang groom) so he was able to get his attire ahead of Rey. The barong and the pants, as expected, fitted him well.

Unfortunately, when it was Rey's turn to claim his barong, we realized too late that:

1) The material for his barong was the raya type - so it had embroidery all over. it was nice but it didn't fit the Rey's personality.

2) The material was in pure pina. Even if it was first class pina and was actually several shades lighter than most pina cloths that i've seen, the yellow tinge made Rey look a little darker.

3) The material was for large people. The barong was too long because the cutters couldn't make it any shorter as it would ruin the embroidery. In addition to this, the pants were a bit too baggy, so Rey appeared smaller. On the same afternoon, we looked for new material for his barong.

professionalism - 7 (they could have informed us before they cut the material that it was too large for Rey)
creativity - 5 (When Rey fitted the pants, we pointed out that the pants were too baggy. The cutter told us that "uso" daw and baggy)
output - 7 (Fatherlily's barong and pants were nice.)
FINAL SCORE: 6.33 (pwede pa rin for those who are lean and tall like fatherlily, or those who like their pants baggy)


I love the designs of Njork but I found their bridal gowns too expensive for something that I would wear only once in my life. So, I decided to have a reception gown made. I never regretted my decision.

After a minor hiccup (I was made to wait for 45 minutes), everything went on smoothly with Njork. Aside from my reception gown, I had them make me a cocktail dress for the wedding that I attended a week before the wedding (December 20.) 5 days before that, Rey realized that he had nothing to wear for that wedding. Since he went with me to Njork for my fitting, and we had cloths for barong with us, we asked Njork if they can sew him a barong in 5 days. They honestly told us that since it was a busy month, their schedule was be pretty tight and the barong would only be finished on the morning of the 20th. Since we were desperate, we agreed.

On the 20th, I met Rey at Njork's shop. At that time, I was already wearing the beautiful cocktail dress that they made for me. Rey's barong just arrived and Rey was about to put it on. The fit was perfect. The lines were so clean and the workmanship was excellent. They even made a camiso for Rey. The camiso was so nice! Rey said that
it felt really soft and smooth (para daw siyang naka-pajama). And the cut and fit was so perfect that you can't see any bare skin between the collar and the camiso. Nagsisi nga si Rey na di niya sa Njork pinatahi yung barong niya for the wedding. Yun nga lang, Rey was wearing the pants that Daneche and he thought that the pants destroyed the clean lines of his Njork barong. He said this aloud and Miguel and
Francis had to agree. When we asked them if they can repair it, they said that it would be easier to make a new one. We asked them if they can sew one for Rey. At first they didn't want to agree (they were closing their shop for the holidays on the 23rd and will only open on the 27th) but we were able to persuade them. Since we didn't have any cloth with us, they agreed to provide the material for the pants.

My sister picked up Rey's pants on our wedding day. The pants fit him perfectly and he claims that the material is also soft and smooth. The cut of the pants also made him look a little taller.

As for my fuschia reception gown, it was so beautiful. It hid all my bulges and it made me feel really sexy. Everyone loved it! And it looked really nice in the pictures. It was so pretty that even if it was not white, everyone still knew that I was the bride.

professionalism - 10
creativity - 10 (they even designed the shoes and the earrings that
matched my fuschia gown perfectly!)
output - 10


When Rey told his dad about the Daneche barong that didn't fit, his dad told him to go to Kingsmen, Ortigas where he is a regular customer. So Rey brought his pina jusi to Kingsmen. When I accompanied him to have his studs measured, I didn't like the way that the bald man at the store treated us - he was looking at us down his nose!
Admittedly, we were shabbily dressed (which is how we usually look when we're not working) but we were customers and I think that we should be treated like their other customers (that or may pagka-prima donna lang talaga ako. hee.)

Anyway, we were supposed to claim his barong on the 23rd. But when we went there, we found the sleeves too long. We asked them to shorten the sleeves by half an inch by the 26th since the barong will be used on the 27th. Hindi daw pwede. First they said that talaga daw mahaba ang sleeves ng barong. When we disagreed, they said that they couldn't adjust the sleeves as their mananahi will not be working until the 27th. They suggested that Rey wear the barong on the 27th and they'll just adjust the sleeves afterwards. When we said that the barong is for our wedding and that Rey's not planning to wear it again, some good-hearted employee agreed to have the sleeves adjusted. Mang Al, our driver, picked up the barong on the 26th. Thankfully, the barong fit perfectly on our wedding day.

professionalism - 5 (the staff in Makati are nicer.)
creativity - 9.9 (the barong was really nice but they suggested that Rey wear a normal camiso. Rey wore the camiso that Njork made for him)
output - 10
FINAL SCORE: 8.3 (mas gusto ko talaga yung Kingsmen sa Makati!)

Our pictures are posted at:

Designs of Fidel Marquez:

Wedding pictures by Eddieboy Escudero:

Wedding pictures by John Aguas and Carlo Villonco:

Sunday, February 20, 2005

it's a good thing i love what i do

can't blog. have work. yes, on a sunday.


Thursday, February 17, 2005

Our Photo DVD is online!!!

Carlo Villonco made us a website! It has more pictures of our wedding and more importantly, a downloadable short version of our PhotoDVD!

Love ko talaga si Carlo!!!

Here's the link:

Friday, February 04, 2005

Kwentong Biik

Kwentong Biik

Part I - as told by Rey

Abie and I have been together for a decade. We dated for a year and a half before that. The whole time we were together, there was never any doubt that we would end up getting married. The relationship was filled with romantic, candlelit dinners, slow sweet kisses against spectacular beach backdrops and sprawling, lush fields - wait, that was a movie, and not our story. But there really were dinners, lunches, breakfasts, snacks and an inexplicably inordinate amount of squidballs and shrimp. In fact, 80lbs of additional weight later, we were quite certain no one else would want either of us so we decided to just tie the knot and keep on eating.

We decided last year that the way to go wedding-wise would be to go to a beautiful foreign country and get hitched there. However, when we checked our finances and the also seemingly inexplicable resemblance of the groom to several international terrorists on the FBI's and Interpol's websites, the decision was made to hold the wedding here instead.

A major consideration in our preparations was Rey's declaration that he will not have a wedding with bad food, flowers and a million guests who he has never seen before in his life showing up. After narrowing the guest list down to 60 of our relatives and closest friends (Rey all the while insisting he cannot possibly know that many people), we quickly settled on Mandarin Oriental's chinese restaurant, Tin Hau, as the food venue.

After consulting with friends, this decision nearly precipitated a major modification of the event as everybody was quite excited to just get on with the annihilation of copious amounts of suckling pig and peking duck and just forget about the unnecessary wedding ceremony. A happy compromise was reached when everybody decided that a 5 minute civil wedding would be more than enough to precede the all-important dinner portion. (Abie: Actually, there's a long story behind our decision to have a civil wedding instead of a church wedding. The short version: we were not able and to get all the documents being required by the Catholic Church.)

It was at this time that Abie toyed with the idea of a segment involving after-dinner cocktails served during a mini concert by one of her more talented singing friends, Mia dela Cruz. When she shared this idea to me, my sheer delight at envisioning my drunk Viking-like buddies (complete with horned helmets and foul odors), groping her terrified girl friends was quickly replaced by alternating fury and depression when Mandarin told us the corkage charge we would have to pay for this.

After several days of prodding, and thousands of assurances that we will do everything possible to reduce the corkage, we began preparations in earnest. (Abie: And it all started with the groom booking a function room in Mandarin that had a maximum capacity of 70 people.)

Part II - as told by Abie

A membership to weddings@work, 2 prenups, 1,000 bridal fairs and an online journal later, it was the day before the wedding.

Rey and I decided to book rooms at the Mandarin on the 26th to help us relax. It was a good decision as all stress was concentrated on this day. We had a sound check with Mia and her accompanist, Paul and a meeting with our coordinator, Kitte. That was easier said than done. Our appointment with Mia and Paul was at 2 pm. But at 1 pm, I still haven't finished packing my things (the ones that I'll bring to my new home AND the ones that I'm bringing to the hotel), we still had to get Rey's barong from Kingsmen and pants from Njork, and I badly needed a massage, a manicure and a pedicure! I finished packing my hotel bag and left for Mandarin at 1:45. Photo-finish na naman ako!!!

After the sound check and our meeting with Kitte, our coordinator (I gave her a folder with all our contracts and all my instructions, as well as the seating arrangement), I went to Blue Mountains for a body contour. While having a massage, I had Mang Al (our ever-dependable driver) pick up Rey's barong from Kingsmen. Rey's pants weren't ready yet (as expected! He had his measurements taken only on December 20. He didn't have any cloth with him. Njork closed its offices for the holidays on the 23rd.) I lost 1.5 inches around my waist! (The loss, as expected was temporary, as I gained everything back on the 3rd day of our honeymoon. Everyone was congratulating Rey for the coming baby. E hindi naman ako buntis!!!) Afterwards, I went back to the hotel for a meeting with our emcee Renan, Rey's DJ cousin. I then went to my neighborhood parlor for my manicure and pedicure. My friend, Kat, who was my roommate for the night, met me there. (She spent Christmas with her family in Ilocos. She left Ilocos on the evening of December 25 and traveled 10 hours to get to Manila by the 26th. Isn't that sweet?) We decided to have dinner at the Makati area. We walked for 15 minutes to get to Red Crab (I really thought that it was near Mandarin) only to find it closed. We hopped on the first cab that we saw and asked the driver to bring us to Greenbelt 2. I needed my comfort food from Bizu (and Kat refused to walk any further.)

We called Rey to tell him about our adventures for the day. It turns out that he went home after our meeting with our emcee to do more packing (I have no idea what he needed to pack!) and found himself a roommate for the night – his friend, Buboy, whose wife was out of town. They decided to meet us in Bizu. After a couple of beers, Rey's other friends, including Aya (one of the best men) and his wife, Cindy, joined us. We had so much fun that we didn't notice the time until it was midnight! Kat and I gave our excuses and decided to go back to Mandarin. Rey and Buboy decided to tag along. And they tagged along even up to our hotel room. Since we were all there, we decided to have a final wine tasting! We finished 2 bottles by 2 am. Since Kat and I were really sleepy, we sent Rey and Buboy to their room with another 2 bottles.

Thinking that we had until 11 am to sleep (our hotel room came with a free Chinese breakfast in Tin Hau. Since we didn't want to eat congee for breakfast on the day of our wedding, Rey and I decided to skip it,) I requested the Mandarin Spa to send a masseuse to our room. She was so good that I fell asleep within the first 3 minutes.

6 hours later, Rey woke me up to tell me that our Tin Hau breakfast was upgraded to a buffet breakfast in Paseo Uno for free. Within a few minutes, Kat and I joined Rey and Buboy for breakfast (hay, hirap talagang tumanggi sa food!) I ruined my manicure while eating breakfast so I went to Menage, the salon at the ground floor of the hotel. Rey decided to join me and had his hair trimmed.

After my manicure, Kat and I transferred from our Junior Suite to a Club Suite. (Ang cheap kasi namin - we refused to pay for the Club Suite for 2 nights so nag-junior suite muna ako.) The Club Suite was so nice and spacious! And our room was a few feet away from the Spa. I couldn't resist the temptation so I had a 30-minute scrub at 11. (Sulit talaga ang pagkuha ng on-the-day coordinator!) It turns out that the 30-minute body scrub actually takes an hour and a half! Right after my this-feels-like-heaven-scrub, I got a message from Kat that one of the photographers, John Aguas, was already there! It's a good thing that in Mandarin Spa, you get a suite when you have a body scrub - so I had my own bathroom and toilet and a bronze-looking sink. Since I didn't want any photos with me looking as if I haven't shampooed my hair in years, I decided to take a shower at the Mandarin Spa. The staff gave me a bathrobe and patrolled the hallway so I can go back to my room without being seen.

When I got to my room, Kat helped me into my dressing gown. A few minutes later, Eddie Bruan and his team arrived and started setting-up their equipment. At exactly 1:30 pm, Eddie faced one of his bigger challenges - he had to transform me into a glamorous bride.

My huge family arrived before 2 pm. My sisters brought Rey's pants, several dozen barbecues and Christmas pastries (mga katas ng Pasko! Heehee). They also brought several bottles of wine. Shortly after 2, the wine bottles were opened and the party started! (Note: Hindi kami alcoholic, mahilig lang talaga sa party!)

Part III - as told by Rey

It was about 3 pm when I had a major bout of soul searching. I was in a hotel room with a friend and my cousin Renan surrounded by at least 3 cases of champagne and wine. I felt that this was certainly a good time to start on my long cherished dream of being an alcoholic. I immediately opened a bottle and asked the others to do the same. 20 minutes later, as I was beginning to forget certain unimportant details, (I vaguely remember Abie telling me to be somewhere at 6, I'll remember later.) Our room was suddenly invaded by about 3 dusky middle-aged men with cameras. They offered some suspicious explanations of being wedding photographers and that they had to do the groom's room for the pre-wedding shots. Well, I suppose I had to thank them for the intrusion as 5 minutes later I realized what the 6 pm thing was and regretfully ordered everyone to put the bottles down.

(Abie: Hay, naku, ayaw talagang umamin na he was so nervous that he called me up at least 5 times! Everytime the phone rings, even before I answer it, sasabihin na ng lahat ng tao, "Abie, si Rey!")

In my opinion, our hotel room was rocking with fun marked by a lively debate over an infomercial featuring God's gift to mankind --- the George Foreman Indoor Grill. (Only P2999! A special price given by George Foreman himself) Clearly, the photogs thought otherwise and ran back to the bridal suite where apparently a "real" party was going on. (What kind of party doesn't have intelligent discourse over an indoor grill that knocks out the fat but not the flavor?)

It was about 5 pm when the best man arrived with the returning photographers. After introducing himself as such, he immediately announced that he was here to ensure the wedding would continue, or if not, to lay down enough covering fire with an M-60 so I could successfully escape. He then proceeded to inspect my clothing to ensure that I did not slip in a "The George Foreman Grill is God's Gift to Mankind" undershirt for the wedding. Only then did he realize that the studs he brought for his own barong were too big for its button holes. After much cursing, wailing and gnashing of teeth he declared that he was fully capable of handing such an emergency for his delicate P20,000.00 barong (not a George Foreman product) and immediately proceeded to widen the holes with a pencil.

We were downstairs at the Fontaine Room by 5:30 where we had to be constantly reminded that the scratching of our behinds while greeting arriving guests was considered high etiquette for primates but not quite so polite for human weddings. I was also being instructed by the best man to put on more of a scowl as it seems that in weddings, the deeper the scowl, the more drama is lent to the entrance of the bride who has kept her groom waiting for her arrival. At 6: 15, after successfully frightening several children, (who thankfully, were not part of the wedding) I was nudged by the best man to smile as the bride came in to show my appreciation at her lovely appearance as well as a silent thanks for not leaving me at the altar.

Bitin ba? Here's a link to the photos taken by Eddieboy Escudero:


Sunday, January 30, 2005

tip of the iceberg

i've finally managed to upload some of our pics by john aguas and carlo villonco (geronimo photographico). (in case the link doesn't work, you can view the pics at:

these high resolution pics all came in CDs. i've tried uploading them directly from the CDs but it took too long so i tinkered around with the resolution to make the file sizes smaller. the result: we look cross-eyed in several shots. but since i'm too lazy, i'm not planning to upload them again. but believe me, the shots are nicer in their original files. i've already printed at least 400 of them and the pics are just so beautiful (of course, i'm biased! at least 50% of the pics have my face in it!)

i already had all of eddie boy escudero's pics scanned so i can upload them. i'll try to upload them next week.

abie - just had a fun day at enchanted kingdom (i hope to brag and blog about it tomorrow.)

Saturday, January 29, 2005

I'm Alive!


I've been absent for so long but I enjoyed reading your tags.

Just a quick summary of what I've been up to for the past month -

December 18 to 25 - attended 3 weddings, 2 christmas parties, 2 christmas dinners with immediate relatives, had another barong and pants sewn for the groom, started packing my stuff (hanggang ngayon, di pa tapos! heehee)

December 26 to 27 - had a body contour massage from blue mountain (i lost 1.5 inches around my waist!!!) an asian massage (fell asleep as soon as it started), and body scrub (sobrang sarap); had dinner at bizu with rey and our friends, final wine tasting til 2 am; buffet breakfast at paseo uno at 8 (we were planning to skip breakfast but rey woke us up), started drinking with my sisters and my friends at 2 pm, got married at 6, had dinner and partied til 1130; washed my hair for 30 minutes

December 28 - packed, picked up Porkchop and went home

December 29 - took care of Porkchop

December 30 to 31 - prepared for the new year, shopping at greenhills (mega bargain hunting in virra mall as it was their last day)

January 1 - panicked and searched for dollars

January 2 - packed and left for our honeymoon

January 2 to 12 - HONEYMOON!

January 13 - 15 - got addicted to the xbox and tried saving the world as cyclops (from x-men. hmmm. literal translation: dating lalaki. sabi na nga ba, bading si cyclops!)

January 16-29 - got buried in work.

I'll try to finish uploading our pics.

Got to attend a wedding.